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article imageSUV falls 60 feet from bridge; lands upright with passengers safe

By James Walker     Feb 15, 2015 in Technology
An SUV fell over 60 feet from the Hackensack River bridge after avoiding another vehicle and hitting a snowdrift. Two occupants have survived with only minor injuries as the car landed upright below the bridge.
The driver of the SUV, Elizabeth Wolthoff, had to swerve sideways while travelling east along the bridge as she was cut off by another road user. Her Toyota RAV4 then collided with a large bank of snow against the guardrail of the bridge, formed by snow plows pushing the snowfall to the side of the road.
The car was thrown off the Interstate 80 bridge, falling over 60 feet to land beneath the construction on a fence and tree, roughly 40 feet from the Hackensack River. Incredibly, the vehicle landed upright with Wolthoff and her passenger conscious and able to call 911. Pictures from after the accident show the wreckage of the car hanging off the fence.
Both occupants complained of neck and back pain and were taken to hospital, but their injuries were minor compared with what could have transpired had the car landed differently. Over 20 firefighters attended the scene, removing the passenger door to get to Winslow and pulling Wolthoff from under the steering wheel.
After initially asking where she was, Winslow reportedly remembered details of the crash as rescue services worked around her. Firefighter Michael Thomasey said he told her "You’re in Hackensack, don’t worry, we’re here. We’ll get you out of the car. Just sit tight, we’re going to work for a few minutes. It’s going to be noisy. We’re going to get you out of here."
State Police are now looking into how the accident was caused and why Wolthoff had to swerve so suddenly to avoid the other motorist. Both women are now in hospital. They are expected to remain there for several days and one is believed to be undergoing surgery on her injuries.
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